Saturday, March 3, 2018

Definition of love

I wonder if we don't expect too much of ourselves to experience a particular kind of love.

In spiritual terms, 'God' is within all of us, and we are all one. This feeling isn't available to me constantly, but I can certainly close my eyes and feel a loving being, feel the connection to all beings. These feelings are felt by people attuned to the non-duality of life.

Yet, the words 'I love you', what's the definition, the meaning of those words? What they mean to me maybe they don't mean to you. Feelings of love are not really quantifiable.

We can love the world. That's almost easier to do than loving a particular person with behaviors that aren't easily understood. It's quite a skill to practice unconditional love. It's not easy to give up all expectations and see what comes back. What if what comes back doesn't fill your cup?

Some people say, well, love is a verb. It makes sense. When someone acts in a loving way, the mind and body process this positively.

You can express the sentiment that you love someone, and maybe, the words stand on their own. Yet, the receiver must feel them, no?

Or, do we sometimes steel ourselves against the full blast of those words? Maybe, they can't be felt unless we are feeling lovable.

One time my husband had a terrible thing happen to him. Nasty. We felt in a foreign country, isolated and alone. In those terrible days, all we had were each other.

The post arrived and there was a letter from someone not all that close to my husband, expressing his condolences and giving my husband heart that he could rise from this fall. Instinctively, with no words spoken we hugged each other tight and cried.

One little act of loving kindness, a crack in the dike, had caused the tears, previously held back, to gush forth.

I tend to rely on the feelings within my body. When thoughts become too muddled it is the body that doesn't lie. This has been my operating stance.

If my body is screaming out to me that something is askew, I stop and note it. This is not to say that my body is always right but it's not right to ignore these messages either.

Sometimes I think that the best we can do is adopt a loving and open heart, but at the same time, if one has a particularly loving and open heart, the head has to be brought into the calculations. Is the situation serving you? Is it elevating you? A very giving person can find it difficult to bring an unsatisfactory situation to a close, and some people know that and use it to their advantage.

When I am working with young children I adopt a non-judgmental state of mind and an unconditional stance of affection and good will towards them. I meet each little being as a unique soul and they seem to like that place in which to meet me. I'm amazed how many little things want to work with me. A little girl said this week, 'I wish I wasn't smart. Then, I could be with you more.' The honesty of the young child!

It's true, that as a teacher of sorts, I enjoy working with smart children. It's an ego thing. When you teach a child and they get it, you feel you succeeded. It's an instinctive thing and you can't really help that feeling. I tend to help the lowest functioning kids and the highest functioning kids and there's a big difference in one's own state depending on the group.

It would be lying to say that reading with a child who is struggling to use phonics is a walk in the park but at the same time it's priceless when they feel a sense of achievement at their particular task. Maybe you breathe deeper in moments, because you're struggling for energy to be mega enthusiastic at certain moments, but that's the job. They deserve and need your undivided cheer leading capacity.

If someone loves  you in a high-functioning, relatable way - they send you notes of love or adoration, perhaps a little note simply saying that they were thinking of you today, as an example - this all feels very easy and delightful. Flowers are a delightful gift, a compliment is a delightful gift. This sort of show of love delights us and we love to be delighted. It uplifts us. It makes us smile. It is all so easy, so loving, so sweet.

So, what happens to love, when the love has hunkered down and maybe looks like something else? Delight is rare. Rather, the love is assumed, has very little to do with words or behaviors. It's just there, perhaps one person thinks. I am loving you. Why aren't you feeling it?

I think love demands a degree of sharing, and then a deeper level of sharing. Not everything explored and witnessed is going to be to our liking but we've seen ourselves in the other by then. It's that spiritual sort of love where you've reached the stage of unconditional love.  You love this person with all of their flaws. You just love them using your heart and not much at all of your head. That can be a scary place to hang out. It can defy logic.

Love doesn't die. I don't think it works that way. But, it can lie dormant. It can go to sleep. We can say we love our new couch, or our car, or our coat. So, it's all a bit nebulous since we happily throw away those objects and replace them with new objects. The word 'object' can be a worrying one to me as it pertains to kink. Toys are easily discarded or ignored so be sure you are a loved toy, that it's  a role given and received with love.

True love, that of another Being, doesn't just fade away. When someone has helped build the landscape of a heart, they always dwell within.

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